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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Institute of Education Sciences
Little Books

IES What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes*
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication No
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a review of research studies investigating the effects of an interactive book reading intervention (Little Books) on the reading achievement of children in grades K-3 (ages 5-8). The effectiveness of the intervention was categorized as Meets Evidence Standards, Meets Evidence Standards with Reservation or Does Not Meet Evidence Standard based on the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) classification system. Well-designed randomized controlled trials are considered strong evidence (Meets Evidence Standards), quasi-experimental studies are considered weaker evidence (Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations) and single-case design studies are considered insufficient evidence or under development (Does Not Meet Evidence Standards).

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: Children in grades K-3 (ages 5-8).

Intervention/Assessment: Little Books: books with high-frequency words as well as simple phrases and sentences used for interactive book reading.

Number of Studies Included: 1

Years Included: Not stated



  • Treatment
    • Language
      • Reading - Interactive Book Reading
        • Of the two studies included, only one study met the WWC criteria to be considered an evidence standard and examined the use of Little Books across three experimental conditions (at home only, school only, combined home and school) compared to a no treatment control.
        • "The WWC categorized the study as having potentially positive effects for general reading achievement with kindergarteners" (p. 3).
  • Service Delivery
    • Setting
      • Interactive Book Reading
        • The included study found "a statistically significant effect for all three treatment groups (home only, school only, and home and school) compared to the comparison group" with no access to Little Books (p. 3).
        • "These effects were substantively important but not statistically significant" (p. 3)

Keywords: Literacy

Access the Review


*See the WWC Evidence Review Protocol for inclusion criteria.

Added to Compendium: February 2012

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